On Monday, Fox News personality Neil Cavuto was utterly appalled at the news that President Donald Trump was taking zinc together with the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine in an effort to keep the coronavirus at bay, warning viewers in certain risk categories, “I cannot stress enough: This will kill you.”
However, Cavuto appeared even more surprised after speaking to a medical doctor who argued that the treatment could in fact be “beneficial and potentially life-saving” in many cases, Breitbart reported.
Doctor touts drug’s benefits
Dr. Janette Nesheiwat began her comments by reminding Cavuto that “[hydroxychloroquine] is an FDA-approved drug” which has been used for decades to treat a variety of ailments.
“It is not new,” she continued, adding that “it’s been around for many years, and he is taking it as a prophylactic, preventative measure, which I think is very smart to do, because, you know, there’s a lot of people, we just saw recently the vice president’s press secretary tested positive.”
When Cavuto remained skeptical of the idea that hydroxychloroquine was safe to administer as a treatment for potential cases of coronavirus, Nesheiwat replied that she had “absolutely” prescribed it to treat COVID-19, and said that taking the drug as a preventative measure as Trump is doing, is “very smart to do,” according to Breitbart.
The doctor added, “Some of them benefited from it. Some of them did not. So we need to look at each patient individually. You have to talk to your doctor. We have to look and see, do you have any underlying medical problems?”
Cavuto then referenced another physician who had previously appeared on his show and asserted that “under no circumstances” should hydroxychloroquine be given “if [patients] had any respiratory issues, cardio-related issues,” or diabetes, suggesting that it could prove fatal in such a scenario.
Debate rages on
Nesheiwat disagreed with that physician’s assessment, stating, “That’s not necessarily true. We have to look at the individual medical history, their past medical history. Now, if you have an underlying cardiac arrhythmia, we need to be careful.”
She went on to add that in certain coronavirus patients, hydroxychloroquine could “be beneficial, and potentially life-saving” as a form of treatment, adding:
So I think it is good to have this medication in our toolbox, along with remdesivir, while we wait for vaccines to become approved, and for other therapeutics to get on the market.
It seems as though Cavuto’s initially critical reaction to the revelation that the president has been taking hydroxychloroquine may have been influenced by the words of the aforementioned prior guest, Dr. Robert Lahita.
The rheumatologist and lupus expert said that while hydroxychloroquine had indeed been given in an attempt to help “those who are very sick,” the medication had produced “no effect whatsoever.”
It is clear that even within the medical profession, the jury is largely still out on the effectiveness of the anti-malarial drug in the fight against COVID-19, particularly when used prophylactically.